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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
20th October 2017


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Please note that you are viewing an archived issue of The KBzine.

International News

Bowls of beauty: new manufacturing process produces super-fine basins

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International bathroom giant VitrA has launched Outline, a new range of ultra-fine wash basins manufactured using Cerafine, a brand-new material in bathroom production that allows for slim, elegant shapes with very defined edges.

Shapes and edges like this are not possible using more traditional materials as the shape would not survive the firing process.

New Zion Furniture from Crosswater: stunning yet functional

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New from Crosswater, the Zion floor-standing basin unit looks to redefine the concept of bathroom furniture for modern family living. Combining simple yet stunning style with everyday functionality, each aspect of the design has been carefully considered using the latest materials and resilient surface technology to ensure a high-quality furniture collection that will cater to every member of the family.

Hansgrohe bolsters growth

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Hansgrohe Group is strengthening its management team and increasing its focus on key areas that will fortify sales and sales-related functions - the cornerstones of the company's growth strategy. As of 1st January 2018, the Hansgrohe SE Executive Board will include two members responsible for sales as well as a chief financial officer as of 1 October 2017.

Step into the future with Hoover's touch-screen oven

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Hoover has launched its most innovative, high-end appliance to-date, with a new oven, boasting a 19-inch, fully interactive touch screen with just one single on/off button.

Small bathrooms have huge design potential with the Geberit Bathroom Collection

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The smallest room in the home can be big on style, with clever solutions and products that are designed with compact spaces in mind. Every bathroom needs good storage, but the smaller the bathroom the more important it becomes. Whether it is a cloakroom, en suite or small bathroom, The Geberit Bathroom Collection offers the perfect solution to maximise on space.

'Transitional Living' with open-plan kitchens by Rotpunkt

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Rotpunkt is answering the demand for transitional living: where traditional and contemporary design coalesce to become one unified interior solution.

Bringing a well-balanced fusion of 'classic meets modern', the traditional features of this kitchen are defined by Rotpunkt's Pastel Smoke Oak shaker-style cabinetry with one-panel design door and drawer fronts.

New magic box: innovative first-fix solution for thermostatic shower solutions from VitrA

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Designed to make the installation of built-in bath and shower mixers fast and simple, V-Box from VitrA is the new generation of standard and thermostatic shower solutions. The box can be used with X-Line, Pure, Nest and Suit brassware from VitrA and is the ideal money and time saving choice for both installers and consumers.

Bushboard Nuance at Kitchens & Bathrooms Live (Stand M635)

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Bushboard, now part of the Wilsonart Group, and the UK's leading producer of laminate worksurfaces, is exhibiting at the Kitchens & Bathrooms Live event at the NEC, Birmingham, 10th - 12th October 2017.

The complete bathroom solution from Crosswater

Transform bathrooms into a luxurious retreat with the complete collection of brassware, furniture units and accessories from British bathroom specialist, Crosswater. Combining modern functionality with on-trend aesthetics, each product from the brand's extensive offering is manufactured to the highest specifications, offering customers assured quality and superior performance.

Easy use for everyone - a new classic from VitrA

Offering a compelling design solution for every bathroom, new Z-Line from VitrA is a sleek, modern range of bathroom brassware featuring a smoothly contoured body with an easy-to-use flat lever control conveniently mounted on the side.

Bertazzoni goes to new lengths with 110cm range

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Due to demand, Bertazzoni has chosen to develop 110cm models of its Professional and Master Series range cookers, complementing its existing product portfolio of 60cm, 90cm, 100cm and 120cm lines.

Welcome to the


As someone who's habitually found it difficult to employ an affordable tradesperson who's good at his or her trade and who can 'fit me in', a press release I received this morning really hit home. Heating and boiler specialist Warm.co.uk is warning that the UK is in danger of running so low on plumbers that we face the biggest crisis in 20 years.

It says plumbing as a profession is being neglected when it comes to attracting and training new workers and that the Government must do something about this now, or we could face a near future where emergency call-outs could take up to three weeks in large cities, putting health and businesses in danger.

As well as the terrible waiting times even for emergency work, the company warns of hugely inflated prices for those who have the money, leaving those who don't, in an even worse situation. It recommends that the Government offers incentives for school-leavers to go straight into apprenticeships and training for the profession, meaning they can begin working very soon after education.

You might think that this won't go down well with good tradespeople who are already in the business, and are probably enjoying the benefits of being in high demand, but perhaps this isn't the case...

Busy plumbing business owner Stephen, for example, says: "I'm the only plumbing business serving quite a large area. We do what we can but there are always more jobs to do than there are hours in the day. "You might think we'd be happy with that and annoyed if lots of other people started working as plumbers, but that's not true. We struggle to recruit. I hate letting people down by not being able to come out sooner, and I'd ideally like to expand my business by employing more people. There are three of us and I can't find anyone else even though the workload is growing."

The average salary for a plumber in the UK is, apparently, currently upwards of £23,000, but can rise to over £37,000 depending on experience and location. Warm.co.uk hopes that the Government can use this relatively high wage to entice young people into the profession. I agree 100%. We have a growing population and when we talk about not having the infrastructure to support it, we generally think about schools, healthcare facilities and the like rather than the means to maintain them...



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

New report reveals acquisition targets

* Plimsoll.jpgTraditionally, a typical acquisition strategy revolves around acquirers looking for a cut-price deal by preying on struggling and vulnerable businesses.

Ideal Standard become latest BiKBBI Corporate Sponsor

* Ideal-Standard_BIKBBI.jpgBritish Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation chief executive Damian Walters has this week confirmed that Ideal Standard is the latest big industry brand to join the organisation as Corporate Sponsor, adding to an ever-expanding group of high profile manufacturers who support positive change within the KBB installation sector.

Ideal Standard is a leading manufacturer of residential, commercial and healthcare bathroom solutions and the premier brands within its group also includes Sottini and Armitage Shanks, which celebrates its 200th anniversary this year.

New: casual chic from burgbad

* burgbad-Mya.jpgLeading German manufacturer burgbad has brought a fresh look to luxury bathrooms with the inspiring and innovative Mya range. As part of the Building Products Group of the  Eczacıbaşı Group, burgbad is said to be the market leader in Germany for bathroom furniture.

Launched at the ISH show this year, and available now, Mya takes its inspiration from the wooden clothes horse of yesteryear, featuring light, open pieces in natural or dark grey matt oak veneer, themed around hanging rails and practical drawers. Matching matt basins are available in white and stunning dramatic black.

Utopia continues quest for modular dominance

* New-Halo-modular.jpgHot on the heels of its major modular launch in June, Utopia tells us it's continuing its quest to dominate the modular sector of the bathroom furniture market with the launch of the dramatically updated Halo range.

Its fourth product launch this year, the new Halo range has a host of new features, additional units and a palette of six new on-trend colours. Supported by inspirational photography reflecting the latest home interior styles, the new range is very realistically priced to target a younger audience wanting stylish British quality products at affordable prices.

Abode adds new 'on-trend' colour to Harmonie bathroom range

* Abode-adds-Harmonie.jpgStriking and stylish finishes for kitchen taps are fast becoming the norm, but there are still very few manufacturers venturing into the bathroom with such finishes.

New technical director arrives at BMA

* Technical-director_BMA.jpgA new technical director with almost 30 years' experience in the bathroom industry has been appointed by the Bathroom Manufacturers Association.

Whirlpool donates dishwasher to local charity in support of National Quiet Day

* Whirlpool-donates.jpgNational Quiet Day presented the perfect opportunity for Whirlpool to support the local charity, Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and South Lincolnshire (CPSL) Mind, providing a much-needed dishwasher to support The Sanctuary, the charity's new initiative.

CPSL Mind has introduced the new and innovative service, The Sanctuary, to provide a safe haven for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis. The setting is a welcoming and a non-clinical environment in which visitors receive compassionate support from trained staff. In an effort to make life easier, for both the visitors and the staff - and to keep the setting clutter-free, Whirlpool has provided and installed a SupremeClean slimline dishwasher.

British Ceramic Tile rolls out new brand

* BCT-BRANDING.jpgBritish Ceramic Tile is rolling out a new brand across the business... Not just a logo tweak or colour palette change; this new brand is much more than that and is the result of a six-month project to position British Ceramic Tile as the brand within the tile industry.

In an industry known for its lack of consumer brands, British Ceramic Tile has set out to challenge current perceptions and provide consumers with a credible, fashion-forward tile brand known and loved for its high quality British manufacturing heritage and style-led approach.

Bath remodelling expert introduces exclusive anti-mould and mildew technology

* Bath-remodeling.jpgCharleston Bath Experts (CBE), is providing customers with the exclusive Microban system, which uses antimicrobial technologies designed to inhibit the growth of mould and mildew in their bathroom fittings.

Infused into all of CBE's bathtub and shower offerings, Microban is designed to inhibit the growth of mildew and mould and helps bathtubs and showers stay cleaner and fresher for longer, reducing the environmental impact caused by more frequent cleaning.

BiKBBI: First regional ambassador appointed

* BiKBBI-regional.jpgThe British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation (BiKBBI) this week announced the appointment of Angela Smith as its new ambassador for the Central Region - the first of three appointments planned for the coming months.

Angela (pictured) joins the British Institute in her new role, after working with the organisation over the last two years as an independent inspector.

New brochure from Triton

* Triton-brochure.jpgAs part of its latest campaign, Triton Showers has introduced a redesigned and fully comprehensive brochure.

With a 'help me choose' section, and technical information, the guide offers a complete overview of Triton's full range, from digital showers through to shower accessories, providing an all in one resource for all users and marketplaces.


Kitchen design looks pretty in pink with Masterclass

* Masterclass-pink.jpgPart of a vibrant new colour palette from Masterclass Kitchens, Vintage Rose is set to send kitchens a-blush with pink in 2018.

Pastel-inspired yet bold enough to form a striking contrast to more neutral tones, Vintage Rose is the perfect partner to always on-trend shades such as grey and white, and popular materials such as timber, stainless steel and stone.

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How to contact us at The KBzine:
Jan Hobbs
Publishing Editor
Email:[email protected]
Tel: +44 (0)1372 811 307 
Mobile: 07980 288 373





John Austen
Publishing Director
Email:[email protected]
Tel: +44 (0)1580 755 863
Mobile: 07766 707 888
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Recent News

'Better Together' presentation from Sir Clive Woodward closes KBSA conference

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The final presentation at the KBSA AGM Conference & Networking Dinner, by Sir Clive Woodward, was hailed as a great success and brought together the theme of 'Better Together' perfectly for delegates, reports the KBSA.

KBSA announces 2017 Awards

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Congratulations to all the winners of the 2017 Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association Awards, announced last week.

'Support and growth for retailers' key messages from KBSA AGM and conference

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The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association has hailed the 2017 AGM Conference and Networking Dinner as the best one ever, as more retailers than ever attended event.

New financial protection for BiKBBI members and their customers

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The British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation, in partnership with Transpact.com, Europe's leading escrow provider, yesterday launched a new financial protection product to its members and their customers.

Scottish construction bodies reject CITB levy proposals

Members of the Scottish Building Federation (SBF) and the Scottish Decorators' Federation (SDF) have both voted overwhelmingly to reject the Construction Industry Training Board's (CITB) proposals to continue to raise the construction industry training levy.

KBBG welcomes JTP as a new supplier to members

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Announced at the Kitchen Bathroom Buying Group (KBBG) Annual Members' Meeting 2017, JTP has joined the growing list of suppliers available to KBBG members.

How changing UK bathing habits can boost business for KBB retailers

The age-old ritual of relaxing in a long and luxurious bath is dying out, a recent survey revealed. Just 4% of people are now choosing to take a soak compared with over three quarters (79%) who prefer to take a quick and efficient shower.


Say 'Hello', wave goodbye...

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Hamberger Sanitary congratulates Peter Taylor on his retirement, and welcomes Julian McGarvey as new UK & Eire market manager.


The price is right with Blanco's new online dealer portal

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Allowing quick and easy access to pricing, a new dealer portal has been launched by Blanco on its website.

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